Air-conditioner gone A.W.O.L.

By Kristy Pantin | @kristypantin

Well I’ve had yet another learning experience.

My girls and I have been living in an air-condition-less house since it warmed up.

Luckily that hasn’t been too long.

We made do by opening the windows when the fluctuating weather was cold, in order to cool the house down.

Living in Winnipeg, the weather fluctuates a LOT during this time of year between winter and summer.

In a single day it can go from 4 degrees to 26 degrees between breakfast and lunch alone.

I picture winter as a bully who refuses to give up its turf. It angrily pushes summer out of the room, barring the door against re-entry.

But of course, like any bully, it gets tired and has to rest (luckily there’s no lock on this magic door in my imagination).

It’s during those times of slumber that summer comes out to play momentarily and children frolic in the sun amid water sprinklers and drippy ice-cream cones, faces streaked in mud.

Sadly, during this volatile time, it never lasts long and by the next morning those poor children are back to shivering at curb while waiting for the school bus, bundled in their winter jackets and mitts.

Oh how I despise this time of year.

But anyway, there was a point to be made here.

Did I mention my house IS actually air-conditioned?

Well it was up until winter hit and I turned that beloved air-conditioner off.

Sometime between winter and summer, some crazy person (not me by-the-way) turned off the air-conditioner at the fuse box level.

I’m sure it was my brother as an evil joke, but he refuses to say.

This is why when the warm temperatures hit and I turned on the damn thing…it never cooled the place down.

I went along trying to make excuses for it.

“It’s a 3-level townhouse…naturally the topmost floors will be much warmer than the basement. Hot air rises after all.”

“Maybe the air-conditioner needs…cleaning?”

“The thermostat is not reading the temperature correctly so needs to be replaced.”

No matter what ingenious excuse I came up with, I still felt as if I was missing something.

I’m never wrong when I get these feelings. The trick is figuring out what I’ve missed.

It’s like having Alzheimers. You know you forgot something…but for the life of you, you can’t remember what it is. But at least you’re aware of the forgetting.

So for a couple weeks it has been bothering me enough that I hesitated about approaching my landlord. I don’t like putting people out if it’s something I can deal with myself. Luckily for him I’m a very handy person.

Today I finally went outside while I could hear the fan running in the basement and checked the air-conditioner sitting on the deck.

The fan of the unit had cobwebs on it and no doubt little spiders taking lazy walks in the sun.

I frowned and stared at it.

Slowly it dawned on me that if the fan hadn’t turned to dislodge the webs (probably since last summer), then that meant the furnace had just been blowing air from its own fan and no damn wonder my kids were melting in the upstairs bedrooms every day.

Marching back into my house I found the fuse box and saw that the rather large switch marked ‘AC’ was in the ‘off’ position.

Well…it may take a while sometimes, but I usually always figure out what I’ve missed.

However, it just occurred to me that since I was quite cool and content in the basement and not feeling the heat of the upstairs floors one bit with just the furnace fan on…I’m going to have to start wearing my winter jacket to bed in order for my girls to stay cool on the top floor.

Ugh…I’m definitely never living in a townhouse again. Sigh…


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